GRAHAM, Wash. — The extra law enforcement presence was noticeable at Graham-Kapowsin High School Wednesday after a shooting that wounded two teenage boys.
One of the teenagers were shot multiple times but both victims are expected to survive.
The shots were fired off school grounds on Tuesday.
The wounded teenagers ran back onto school grounds, triggering a lockdown of the high school and three other schools next to the high school.
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“They said it wasn’t a drill and I saw SWAT people like just running down the hall,” student Jakob Naccarato said.
Naccarato is still stunned about the hours-long lockdown that happened Tuesday afternoon shortly after school let out.
“We opened the door and we looked out; there were three kids and we yelled at them to come. We locked the door, turned off the lights and sat there,” Naccarato said.
It’s a terrifying moment he will never forget, now worsened by the fact that he knows the two students who were shot.
“A lot of discussion about the fight,” Nacarrato said.
Naccarato says many students were aware of a planned fight after school. And court documents indicate it was a fight over a girl.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is still saying the shooting was gang-related.
“It appears one of the kids who was shot was a kid who happened to be down there because a fight was going to break out and really doesn’t have any ties to any of these people,” Pierce County sheriff's detective Ed Troyer said.
School administrators say they’ve warned students not to be spectators.
“Everybody wants to watch, but that is not what we tell our kids to do, they need to find an adult, they need to find help,” Bethel School District spokesperson Doug Boyles said.
Naccarato says he wishes he and other students would have spoken up about the planned fight.
More than 600 students didn’t attend school on Wednesday, that’s more than 30% of the student population. Bethel School District says those absences will be excused.
The district says employees at the school did a good job of following the lockdown protocol.